b'16 Mercia asset Management PLc Annual Report and Accounts 2021Chief Executive Officers review continuedThe positive momentum of our business during the last 12 months is in part a result of the swift actions taken as the COVID-19 pandemic broke, leading to an excellent year for the Group and one which demonstrates the resilience and potential of the Mercia Model, which is now delivering with continued momentum.Increase in revenue 50.5% 1(2020: 19.4%)Increase in adjusted operating profit c.550% (2020: n/a)Increase in AuM 17.5% (2020: 57.8%)Direct investment realisations 20.3million (2020: nil)Direct investment fair value increase 10.1million (2020: 15.8million decrease)Unrestricted cash on hand 54.7million (2020: 30.2million)Total Group unrestricted liquidity c.314million (2020: c.320million)NAV per share 40.0 pence (2020: 32.1 pence)Proposed final dividend 0.3 pence per share (2020: nil).assets under ManagementThe 17.5% growth in AuM has arisen from the strong performance of our venture and proprietary capital portfolios, plus net asset value increases from profitable exits.AuM auM1 April Net funds 31 March2020 Distributions flows Performance 2021m m m m mVenture 476 (16) 13 127 600Private equity 60 (6) 54Debt 122 (5) (7)110Proprietary capital 142 34 176total 800 (27) 6 161 940I am incredibly proud of how the whole team at Mercia have pulled together in this remote working environment, creating new efficiencies in the way we work together, including digitalisation throughout the Group. Much of this positive change, such as digital deal origination, is now embedded and permanent as we move to a blended office / homeworking environment.There are two elements to the Groups sustainable performance that interleaf in a highly synergistic manner. Our growing managed funds operations selectively deliver future direct investments, provide strong returns for our valued fund investors and Northern VCT shareholders, and underpin Mercias progressive dividend policy. Connected tightly to this is our proprietary capital which selectively seeds new managed funds, accelerates the growth of promising businesses in our managed funds and provides ongoing growth capital to our direct investments. This has enabled us to deliver growth in NAV per share in the year of 24.6% and a blended direct portfolio internal rate of return (IRR) of c.15% since Mercias IPO in 2014.resetting our strategic goals: Mercia 20:20Having largely delivered on the strategic targets set in 2019 one year ahead of plan, i.e. grow AuM to 1.0billion, move the Group to sustainable profitability and evergreen the balance sheet, it is now right to set new three-year strategic goals. We remain ambitious to deliver significant long- term growth in shareholder value and our new strategic objectives, Mercia 20:20, are aligned with this goal. Over the next three years, on average, we will aim to grow total AuM by 20% per annum and deliver 20.0million profit before tax per annum.First choice for investors, investees and employeesMercias hybrid investment model has now achieved critical mass as the synergies deliver both growth in underlying profit from the fund management operations and the returns from our proprietary investment activity. This self-financing model enables Mercia to compete domestically on a regional basis across the UK. Our focus is simpledevelop a model, systems and internal expertise to source the best deals, win the deals, buy well, accelerate value creation through direct support and then exit those investments for the benefit of our fund investors, management teams and shareholders. Mercias competitive advantage stems from our passion of concentrating on two key connected themes: (i) responsible investor and (ii) responsible employer, which are reinforced by our core values of Growth, Knowledge, Responsive and Trust.1Before net performance fees.'